The Yorkshire Film Archive collects, preserves, and shows film made in, or about Yorkshire. Our collections are non-fiction, dating from the 1890s to the present day, and providing a rich and visually compelling record of all aspects of lives, cultures, landscape, industries, major events and everyday activities, many of which are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
A Woodman's Dream
The transformative power of both nature and art meet as a tree becomes an elegant bird in the hands of a skilled craftsman.
Amateur film 1983 7 mins
From the collection of:
When asked about his famous sculpture of David, Michelangelo reputedly said (he probably didn’t), “just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like David”. Here tree sculptor Alan Dickinson demonstrates the principle as he carves out a stork from a tree he fells, to win 1st prize at the Yorkshire Show 1983. Leeds amateur filmmaker Roy Vickers, in collaboration with others, wonderfully brings this art to life with original verse and music that evokes a pagan sensibility.
Roy Vickers, on his own and as a member of Leeds Movie Makers, made a number of excellent documentary films during the 1970s and ‘80s. A few years before he made a film called Plant Magic, also in collaboration with Keith Overend, which has a similar theme of transformative power of nature. This was set in Chevin Forest Park, in the Wharfe Valley, which may be where Roy filmed Alan Dickinson cutting down his tree. Nothing else is known of the others involved in making the film, or of what later happened in the life of the sculptor Alan Dickinson.
The Arts on Film
1972 10 mins Location: Mayfair
A painterly profile of County Durham's brilliant miner-artist Tom McGuinness.
Documentary 1953 17 mins Silent Location: St Ives
A poetic portrait of sculptor Barbara Hepworth and the otherworldly Cornish landscapes which inspired her.
1978 29 mins
Impressionistic portrait of life as a dancer in London’s Ballet Rambert.
Documentary 1967 14 mins
Spend a few intense minutes with Giacometti in his Paris studio and see him at work on his striking sculptures.
Documentary 1972 13 mins
Filmed at the time Hockney was painting Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy, this compelling study concentrates on the textures and light which surround the artist in his home and studio.
Documentary 1984 61 mins
Discover the 'name behind the hairstyle', in this essential portrait of the bard of Salford, aka John Cooper Clarke.
Amateur film 1951 8 mins Silent Location: Harrogate
The mayor of Harrogate revels in the military pomp and grandeur of parading servicemen and women in this patriotic short film.
Amateur film 1949 18 mins Silent Location: Harrogate
Post-war Harrogate: voted the happiest place in Britain and the third most romantic destination in the world.
Documentary 1986 26 mins Location: Sheffield
The many joys of barbershop singing on display as our Sheffield hopefuls are cajoled into a winning chorus by an inspirational teacher.
Amateur film 1936 12 mins Silent Location: Harrogate
Sedate cars drive by the Stray at Harrogate, where stately ladies serenely walk, while a lonely woman in a glides by in a punt at Knaresborough.
Home movie 1979 23 mins Location: Knaresborough
This gentle portrait of Nidderdale brings out a sense of place that is revealed through the eyes of someone who has spent a lifetime getting to know its many charms.
Documentary 1937 18 mins Silent Location: Harrogate
With war on the horizon, Britannia is in full flow through the streets of Harrogate, along with cross dressing, a parade of exotic floats, performing dogs and the Marx Brothers.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1936 8 mins
Spoiler alert! The fox is always going to outsmart the hounds in this delightful, balletic cartoon that heads from the countryside into 1930s suburbia.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1936 9 mins
Carmen get your cartoon opera fix in this (very!) loose version of Bizet’s classic tale of romance and treachery.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1909 4 mins
Toy Story meets Fatal Attraction in this tale of an Edwardian childhood romance scuppered by poor finances and a stalking dolly
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1940 8 mins
Who does he think he’s kidding? This parodic day-in-the-life portrait of Mr Hitler is one of the very few British examples of comic cartoon propaganda from WW2.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1919 10 mins Silent
Remember when Charlie Chaplin went into space? Reality is no obstacle in this endlessly inventive silent cinema cartoon of the 'Little Tramp'
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1925 6 mins
1920s canine icon Bonzo the Dog tests the Entente Cordiale to the limit in this silent British cartoon
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